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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Finland Series at FinnishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Finnish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25, Cleaning Day. In Finnish, it’s called Siivouspäivä.
Cleaning Day is a recycling event, or kierrätystapahtuma in Finnish, arranged twice a year, where anyone can set up a flea market, or kirpputori, for the day wherever they like. In this lesson, we’ll learn all about Cleaning Day in Finland.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Can you guess which countries other than Finland have held Cleaning Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The idea behind Cleaning Day is to make recycling fun and easy, and to create a vibrant and responsible urban culture. The event also aims to increase communality, or in Finnish yhteisöllisyys. Anyone can register as a seller and set up a stall for recycled goods in yards, on the streets, and in homes or offices. For lovers of vintage and secondhand goods, the day is a real treasure trove.
Cleaning Day was held for the first time in May 2012, when hundreds of Finns erected a temporary sales stall in parks and yards. Today, the event is held twice a year and sales points can be registered on an event map on the event’s official website. Cleaning Day has no official organizer. Instead, each seller registered to the event is responsible for their own stall and for cleaning up after themselves. However, the city of Helsinki does provide free recycling points around the city for the duration of the day.
Cleaning Day has quickly gained acclaim, with the City of Helsinki even giving it an honorable mention in 2012 as the cultural deed of the year. The event is commended for promoting recycling culture, or kierrätyskulttuuri, and ecology, or ekologia, as well as creating communal spirit among townspeople. Cleaning Day also received the Audience Favorite award in the Best of Helsinki 2012 competition.
People prepare for Cleaning Day by organizing an event called Siivouspäivän Etkot, or Cleaning Day pre-party, just before the main event. At popular pre-party sewing cafes and workshops, in Finnish called työpaja, people can repair and tidy up their old belongings, or make new items from recycled materials, so they can sell them later.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Can you guess which countries other than Finland have held Cleaning Day?
More than 5,000 selling points have already been marked on the official Cleaning Day map, at over one hundred locations. In addition to Finland, this international event has had points of sale in Russia and Japan, among others.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you like to visit flea markets?
Leave us a comment at FinnishPod101.com, and see you again in another series!